WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Out of all of the assassins you fight in No More Heroes 2, Margaret Moonlight is probably not only my favourite of the bunch, but arguably one of the most memorable. Not because of her backstory or her personality; in fact, we barely learn anything about her from her very brief dialogue with Travis. It’s all because of this song that plays during her boss fight.
I’m a sucker for lyrical tracks in videogames; don’t know why, they just really hype me up whenever they appear. But what makes Philistine work especially well is how specific its lyrics are. There’s no subtly here; it’s clearly meant to be associated with this fight and Margaret herself. Hell, she says she’ll teach Travis ‘this’ song before they fight.
Aside from being catchy as hell, I just love how it’s all about how awesome Margaret is (actually managing to be a decent substitute for her backstory) and how much Travis sucks. It regularly insults him, straight up mocking his supposed heroism, hypocrisy regarding revenge and calling him what he is – a philistine (and a “God damn pussy,” which I find oddly hilarious). Considering Travis’ character arc up until that point, it’s pretty poignant how on point it is and you could even argue it affects Travis, since he compliments her song and tells her he memorised it before killing her; something which she takes with dignity. There’s no mockery or shit-eating grin; he just gets it over with and leaves – a far cry from the man he was earlier.
The version that the Japanese and EU releases got is a fine enough techno beat, but I prefer the American version if only for the clearer lyrics. Plus, I think it suits Margaret more. It’s a song that’s decent enough on its own, but when you add the context to it, you view it in a whole new (moon)light.